When you think of girl scouts, you might think of fundraisers and cookie sales, but on Thursday, a group a girl scouts learned just what to do with their dough during a financial literacy workshop organized by Merrill Lynch in Stamford.
“Together we’ve established what the best way is to engage girls and keep them focused,” says Ellyn Savard, STEM Program Initiatives Manager for Girl Scouts of Connecticut.
“To actually learn a little bit about buying power, about credit, about making choices, about investing in savings, all leading up to their being able to create their own plan,” says Linda Houston, New England Executive Director for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.
Houston, who led Thursday’s workshop, was chosen as the Girl Scouts of Connecticut's "2014 Woman of Merit". She says the workshop was the perfect way to give back to the scouts and empower the girls with knowledge.
“They have the skill set for sure,” says Houston. “They’re favorite subjects are math and science but they haven’t really had the education on how that applies to what it is that they need to learn about having control of their own financial lives.”
“We’re learning about credit cards and what not to do and what to do, like don’t lose them, don’t overuse them,” says Stamford Girl Scout Carolyn Houtz.
About 18 girl scouts from different parts of the state and New York attended the workshop, which was a culmination of their career week.
“They had a chance to meet some really very successful women in financial services and I think that’s key that they get to see what women in financial services can do and the different roles that they play,” says Houston.
“It’s actually really interesting listening to all the women, their background, how they were girl scouts, what they’re doing now, how long they’ve been doing it,” says Houtz.
At the end of the day, the girls were awarded with a Money patch created by Merrill Lynch.
“I’m very encouraged to see the level of engagement that they’ve had during this day, how important this really was for them, and how much they really do hunger to have this kind of education,” says Houston.